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Do you have high expectations you rarely meet? Do you get down on yourself? Do you complain a lot? I should have done that, why did I do this, I always, I never ...
In general, there are two ways how to play Your Best Game. First, you can change your expectations. Second, you can work on your game to get better.
Both will produce a happier state of mind and ultimately lead to better golf.
Do you have the right fundamentals? The right equipment? Do you take regular lessons? Do you practice? How often? Which areas of your game do you need help with? Do you stretch and exercise? Do you have a plan? What is your budget and your time commitment? Are they realistic?
How much experience do you have? How often do you play? Do you think strategically and tactically how to approach a shot? The greens? Do you have a wide range of shots available for different situations? How committed are you? How realistic are you about the time needed?
Are you are aware of your thoughts between the shots? Above the ball? What is your inner dialog? Do your thoughts run you or are you in charge? Do you know what to do when doubt, ruminating or worry creep in? Can you handle the adrenaline when you have a hot streak? What do you do when you start your round with a double bogie? When you have an annoying opponent? When it rains? When money or pride are on the line? Can you put your "personal self" on the side and focus? Do you have a practice to navigate this area? How often do you attend to it?
Most sports are reactive. Somebody throws you a ball, you are running, you are part of a team or you are reacting to your opponent's moves. There is very little time to think, except what your next move is going to be. Golf is different.
Let's say you shot 75.
You finished the round on time in 4 hours.
An average shot takes you 30 seconds.
75 shots x 30 sec = 2, 250 sec (37.5 mins)
240 mins (4 hours of play) - 37.5 min = 202.5 min (3 hour and 23 mins)
For 3 hours and 23 minutes you talk, walk and ... THINK.
How much time and attention you spend on all 3 areas above will always dictate the level of the game you play.